This content is not available in your region

Giant ice-sheet breaks from Greenland glacier

Giant ice-sheet breaks from Greenland glacier
Text size Aa Aa

An iceberg almost four times times the size of Manhattan island has broken off the Petermann Glacier in Northern Greenland.

Scientists are carefully monitoring the detached ice sheet to guage its rate of disintegration and assess the effect it may have on the environment.

Cracks in the glacier were recorded last year and a separation has been expected for some time.

Dr Alan Hubbard, Glaciologist at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth said: “Ocean warming currents are circulating around the fjord here and eroding the underbelly of Petermann glacier at an incredible rate which is 25 times that of the surface melt.

“There’s been a revelation in the last couple of years in the role that warming oceans play in triggering the enhanced acceleration, break-up and thinning of these outlet glaciers.”

Experts say it is not clear if the event is due to global warming.

According to scientific records – globally – the first six months of 2010 have been the hottest on record.